Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘family

Lockdown Megapost Part Two, Just the Bad News for Everyone Else

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* The coronavirus is rewriting our imaginations. Kim Stanley Robinson on His Next Novel, The Ministry for the Future. Ten Minutes with Kim Stanley Robinson.

* I’ve been too busy to post, but Extrapolation 61.1-2 is here, a special double issue on Afrofuturism.

* Jaimee has a new poem in Blackbird: “Inheritance of Fire.”

* CFP: Futures of Cartoons Past: The Cultural Politics of X-Men: The Animated Series (Edited Collection). CFP: Science, Technology, and Literature During Plagues and Pandemics. CFP: The SFRA Review is seeking short papers on Sinofuturism. CFP: Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions. CFP: Historiographies of Game Studies. CFP: “The Ludic Outlaw: Medievalism, Games, Sport, and Play,” a special issue. CFP: Weird Sciences and the Sciences of the Weird.

* Congratulations Marquette English Grads 2020! Congratulations Marquette Honors Grads 2020!

* We are living in an apocalypse. Oh honey. ‘The impossible has already happened’: what coronavirus can teach us about hope. Science fiction of the plague and why we need it. Science fiction builds mental resiliency in young readers. I know I could use a little resiliency right now.

* The next phase of America’s coronavirus problem is a massive housing crisis. The Intolerable Fragility of American Hospitals. Doctors without Patients. Restaurant and bar owners say social distancing could wipe out their industry. The Coronavirus Puts Restaurants at the Mercy of the Tech Industry. 2 months in, many nontraditional workers still waiting for unemployment. ‘I Cry Night and Day’: How It Took One Woman 8 Weeks to Get Unemployment. U.S. unemployment rate soars to 14.7 percent, the worst since the Depression era. Don’t Be Fooled By Official Unemployment Rate Of 14.7%; The Real Figure Is Even Scarier. 71 percent of jobless Americans did not receive their March unemployment benefits. 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in past month. Food lines a mile long. Nearly 27 million Americans may have lost job-based health insurance, study shows. Half world’s workers may see livelihood destroyed. At least a half billion people could slip into destitution by the end of the year. Nouriel Roubini Sees a Bad Recovery, Then Inflation, Then a Depression. Twilight of the Airbnb hosts. AOC lobbies for burial costs. The Pandemic and the Global Economy. I clung to the middle class as I aged. The pandemic pulled me under. Democrats’ $3 trillion opening bid for the next stimulus package, explained. 4 plans for sending Americans more money. We’re Failing to Rescue the Economy. We haven’t even begun to grasp how much damage the pandemic will do. The U.S. economic crisis is even worse than it appears. There is still no plan.

* In Georgia, coronavirus and environmental racism combine. COVID-19 and the color line. Pork Chops vs. People: Battling Coronavirus in an Iowa Meat Plant.

* With kids stuck at home, ER doctors see more severe cases of child abuse.

What Seattle Did Right, and Where New York Went Wrong. Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California. Wisconsin: hold my beer. What do you mean starting? After the US.

* Reinventing Grief in an Era of Enforced Isolation. The Slippery Definition of an “Essential” Worker. The essential worker trap. Your Life or Your Livelihood: Americans Wrestle With Impossible Choice. “We Risk Our Lives Every Day”: Building Service Workers Strike. “People Will Die. People Do Die.” Wall Street Has Had Enough of the Lockdown. The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying.

* A regimen for reëntry. Theaters Prepare to Reopen with TSA-Style Check-in, Temperature Screenings, and Plexiglass. Over one hundred kids across U.S. have developed rare, mysterious COVID-19-linked illness. What’s Scaring the Pediatricians. Surviving Covid-19 May Not Feel Like Recovery for Some. Virus Survivors Could Suffer Severe Health Effects for Years. The Future of Mass Disinfection. How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take? It Will Probably Take Longer Than 12 to 18 Months to Get a Vaccine. A majority of vaccine skeptics plan to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, a study suggests, and that could be a big problem. What happens if a coronavirus vaccine is never developed? Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing. The psychological effects of quarantine. Coronavirus may never go away. Expert report predicts up to two more years of pandemic misery. Coronavirus Kills People an Average of a Decade Before Their Time, Studies Find.

* As the world weathers a pandemic, Nintendo may just be recession-proof. After the end of the world, we have to learn to fix our own Nintendo Switches.

* Air Travel Is Going to Be Very Bad for a Very Long Time. Commuting After Covid. Lyft, Uber and Airbnb depend on travel, vacations and gatherings. That’s a problem when much of the world is staying home. Manhattan Faces a Reckoning if Working From Home Becomes the Norm. The end of Souplantation. How does Disney reopen its parks?

* The Pandemic Is a Family Emergency.

* Quarantine fatigue is real.

The COVID-19 Conjuncture.

* Ghost ships: Satellite Images Show Armadas Of Vacant Cruise Ships Huddling Together Out At Sea.

The coronavirus isn’t just a public-health crisis. It’s an ecological one. How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires. Meat Plant Closures Mean Pigs Are Gassed or Shot Instead.

Many Schools Are Not Providing Any Instruction Amid Closures. How Remote Learning Is Breaking Parents. The challenge of distance learning for parents of children with special needs.

* Wealth, to scale. American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic. When the Seattle General Strike and the 1918 Flu Collided. Financializing American inequality. Lessons of the Great Depression.

* “Become more evil with each passing generation” doesn’t feel like a strong moral stance.

* Four months as a private prison guard.

Amazon VP Resigns, Calls Company ‘Chickenshit’ for Firing Protesting Workers.

* From the no-such-thing-as-good-news files: Pollution changes are one reason for more tropical cyclones in Atlantic since 1980, NOAA says. Fewer Traffic Collisions During Shutdown Means Longer Waits For Organ Donations.

* This is good news, though: Coal industry will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, say experts.

The Most Consequential Decision of Biden’s 2020 Campaign. Elizabeth Warren is the favored VP pick among Democrats, poll shows. Biden’s virtual campaign is a disaster. Democrats Aren’t Stuck With Joe Biden. How Obama failed.

* This seems fine: Top Republican fundraiser and Trump ally named postmaster general, giving president new influence over Postal Service.

We Need to Rewrite the Constitution to Stop Voter Suppression.

Whistleblower: Wall Street Has Engaged in Widespread Manipulation of Mortgage Funds. Another Real Estate Crash Is Coming.

* At least someone is getting paid these days: After One Tweet To President Trump, This Man Got $69 Million From New York For Ventilators. Man makes money buying his own pizza on DoorDash app.

* Why Zoom Is Terrible.

The inside story behind the Pentagon’s ill-fated quest for a real life ‘Iron Man’ suit.

So we accidently ran an experiment where we did the most any individual can do to reduce carbon emissions and it’s not enough. The world is on lockdown. So where are all the carbon emissions coming from?

* The end of the world could mean merely that “the world”—our mutually constituted sense of the collective now—is changing into something else. Beginning with the End. Billions projected to suffer nearly unlivable heat in 2070. Welcome to the End of the ‘Human Climate Niche.’ The Arctic Is Unraveling as a Massive Heat Wave Grips the Region. Climate change has already transformed everything about contemporary art. Mother Nature.

* Flood and evacuations, including a looming environmental disaster at the Dow Chemical plant in Michigan.

* Real mixed feelings about the neural net I trained to feel sad about climate change.

* Disney announces new attempt to loot the grave of the Muppets.

Bong Joon-ho: Love in the Time of Capitalism.

* Charlie Brooker taps out.

The last days of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newsroom.

* Your opposition party, ladies and gentlemen.

* Take that, STEM!

* When SimCity got serious: the story of Maxis Business Simulations and SimRefinery.

* Calvin and Hobbes and Quarantine.

Animal Crossing’s Embrace of Cute, Capitalist Perfection Is Not What We Need. Consumption and Naturalism in Animal Crossing. Never ask questions about Animal Crossing lore. Ever.

* How we got to Sesame Street.

Gargoyles was nearly the center of a vast Disney Cinematic Universe.

* CBS All-Access gonna try again.

Coronavirus shutdowns exposed the fragility of the comic book industry. How will those in the Pacific Northwest comics scene survive?

* Ethan Hawke is out for blood as abolitionist John Brown in Good Lord Bird trailer.

* It’s a basic thing but of course they’re training the drug dogs to make cops happy, not to find drugs.

* The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months.

* 36,000 Feet Under the Sea.

* Sopranos-themes coronavirus bits.

All the pearl-clutching about the morality of performing a Cannonball Run during a global pandemic seems to have been for nothing, with Ed Bolian reporting America’s most illegal record has been beaten seven times in the span of just five weeks.

* Did I forget to mention the murder hornets?

Seagulls in Rome take to killing rats and pigeons as lockdown deprives them of food scraps.

* The Atlantic visits scenic Wisconsin.

* No one knows what a g looks like.

* This one cuts deep.

* Today in sports conspiracies I actually believe.

* onion headlines but make them lord of the rings: a thread

* society if dads went to therapy

* made a Rube Goldberg machine

* Someone beat Hemingway’s challenge by a single word.

* Well this is just silly.

* And NASA is still hyping that sweet, sweet backwards universe.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2020 at 9:01 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Last Weekend Before Classes Links!

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* CFP: Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Gathering. MLA 2019 CFP: Stephen King at 45. Call for applications: The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship.

* A special issue of Palimpsest on The Life and Work of Octavia E. Butler.

* Staging Octavia Butler in Abu Dhabi. Parable of the Butler as an opera.

Syllabus: Good Grief: Humor and Tragedy in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature.

There has not in living memory been a better time to be a fascist. We live in a utopia: it just isn’t ours.

American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Very nice long read in the Guardian on what depression is and isn’t.

Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance.

* Black Mirror did this one already: Future biotechnology could be used to trick a prisoner’s mind into thinking they have served a 1,000 year sentence, a group of scientists have claimed.

* The 90s, World War II, and the War on Terror. Great little bit of cultural analysis in comic form, derived from a Chris Hayes essay from 2006.

* Tiny books of the resistance.

* Can the humanities be defended? Well, it depends.

The best way to remember 2017 will surely be through the stories it told about what might come after.

The Fierce Urgency of “How.”

Trump’s offshore drilling plan defies ‘wishes of every coastal state, city and county.’ Insurance after climate change. Welcome to West Port Arthur, Texas, Ground Zero in the Fight for Climate Justice. Climate change and the global south. A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise.

UBI already exists for the 1%. A Simple Fix for Our Massive Inequality Problem.

5 things to know about Puerto Rico 100 days after Hurricane Maria.

But the most notable difference in the table is political: no public institution with a Democratic governor chose Vance; only one public institution with a Republican governor chose Coates (the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga). Hillbilly Elegy is the kind of book you want parents and politicians to know students are reading to persuade white, Midwestern Republicans to feel good about releasing funds to support higher education. If you are running a flagship state university campus like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and your Republican governor and legislature have come after funding and tenure, you are more than happy to choose Vance’s book.

* The woman behind the “Shitty Men in Media” list. How I Learned to Look Believable. Why Dan Harmon’s sexual-misconduct confession is actually worth listening to.

* “Every single neighbor I’ve had has died of cancer.” This Town Is So Toxic, They Want It Wiped off the Map.

* This is not to garner pity for sad trannies like me. We have enough roses by our beds. It is rather to say, minimally, that trans women want things too. The deposits of our desire run as deep and fine as any. The richness of our want is staggering. Perhaps this is why coming out can feel like crushing, why a first dress can feel like a first kiss, why dysphoria can feel like heartbreak. The other name for disappointment, after all, is love. On Liking Women.

Justice Department Announces Court Order Revoking Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue. Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9,000 guests. 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection. Trump may deport thousands of Indian H-1B visa holders as they wait for green cards. To fulfill Trump’s vision on immigration, sheriffs are trampling over constitutional principles. The head of ICE is calling for mayors and local city councilmen to be arrested. Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor. ICE to move forward with deportation of paraplegic boy’s caregiver. When Deportation Is a Death Sentence. Trump Puts the Purpose of His Presidency Into Words. And of course.

* The university after Trump.

This is how nuclear war with North Korea would unfold.

If the President Is Uniquely Dangerous, Treat Him That Way.

* Child protective services and artificial intelligence.

* The Dogecoin century.

* The end of computer security. An amazing coincidence.

* How students pay for graduate school.

* Bringing back indentured servitude. Let’s let kids mortgage their social security while they’re at it.

We Finally Know Why People Are Left- Or Right-Handed.

The case for (and against) the tiger living on LSU’s campus.

College football has the money to pay players. The College Football Playoff proves it.

* North Carolina gerrymander ruled illegal, again.

* Living with Slenderman.

You Won’t Live to See the Final Blade Runner Movie.

* #MeToo, Inc.

Uh Oh—CRISPR Might Not Work in Most People.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* Roads to nowhere.

* Police departments nationwide agree: guns officially have more rights than people.

* Solo, oh no. Star Wars fatigue is real. Why So Many Men Hate The Last Jedi But Can’t Agree on Why. The Last Jedi and fandom. The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen. Poe Dameron apologetics.

* Teaching the controversy the Duke way.

* Marxism and Nintendo? I love my Switch, so anything that keeps me from not feeling too bad about owning it… Nintendo’s Resurgence Was the Best Tech Story of 2017. More at MetaFilter.

* Airline travel has become so safe even I’m barely afraid of it anymore.

Southwest Flips on Big Three Airlines in Cartel Case.

* Boomeranging the boomerang effect.

* Web comic of the month: “Three Jumps.”

* The Handmaid’s Tale after Margaret Atwood.

* Fox (TV) after Disney.

* Flight of the Conchords forever.

* The coping economy.

* Stop speculating about Trump’s mental health.

* Segregation today.

* The end of the Mickey Mouse Copyright Era? We’ll see.

* Hamilton in London. Hamilton in Milwaukee. Next up: Saga, the Musical?

As for the bots themselves, #R2DoubleD and #TripleCPU are indeed a very cool sight to behold but (in my opinion) don’t come close to anything ever approaching “arousing.”

* Carrie Fisher’s private philosophy coach.

* google Uno truth

* Updated rules for Settlers of Catan.

* Choose Your Own Adventure, in graph form. Interactive map of every Quantum Leap time jump.

* What happens to the mind under anesthesia?

* Know your airport codes.

* The rise of the machines.

* In fact, it’s cold as hell.

* And you’ve already seen it, but just for the record. Almost been one year. Trump Has Created Dangers We Haven’t Even Imagined Yet. There’s no way out.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

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Thursday Links! Guaranteed* Not to Bum You Out!

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* Class Action: An Activist Teacher’s Handbook.

* I would have thought this was still a few years off: “Faculty object to plan to replace humanities requirement with self-help course.”

* The Marquette Tribune has an article on adjuncts at our university today.

Unraveling the response to this incident, and where it seemed to go wrong and why, offers a glimpse into the complexity of responding to cases of sexual assault in study abroad, the competing legal frameworks that study abroad programs exist within, and the tensions that can result when the best interests of the institution and the student are arguably not one and the same.

The flipped classroom as MOOC waste product.

* “You go to an Ivy League school. Then you either become an investment banker or a management consultant. After two-three years, you apply to law school or b-school. And if you fall off the path for even one year, you can’t get back on.”

Major League Baseball owners, despite earning more than $8 billion in revenue in 2013, voted in January to allow individual teams to slash or eliminate pension-plan offerings to their non-uniformed personnel.

* The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the Secret Corruption Inside PBS’s News Division.

The NSA and Climate Change Spying: What We Know So Far.

All in all, the NEADA estimates that sequestration caused about 300,000 families to lose home energy assistance.

Simply saying we should improve the quality and reduce the duration of work doesn’t allow us to ask whether that work needs to exist at all.

BDS gaining steam within Israel itself.

Even a Stationery Logo Pits Palestinians Against Israel.

The Book of Revelation speaks of a great two-headed beast, paradoxically describing each head as providing worse cable service than the other.

* Oliver Sacks and the Mystery of Hallucinations.

Another woman speaks out over Bill Cosby sexual abuse allegations.

There Have Been At Least 44 School Shootings Since Newtown.

Barbie to Be a Featured “Model” in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Ugh.

The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual.

* Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actually a show about interracial family? You may have seen me going back and forth with Scott a bit this morning about how to include the romance elements of the show here; if this is supposed to be about family, it seems like we have to deal with the fact that all the siblings are in love and Big Bro is sleeping with Mom.

* Anthology alert!  Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse.

And here’s what a Martian space elevator might actually look like. Sold.

Christmas Hangover Links

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* I knew there was a loophole! Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they “do good.”

Why bother? On family obligation. On institutional breakdown.

* Folks, we need to talk: The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf.

* Canada issues Santa Claus a passport.

Chinese State Media: China’s Air is Too Polluted for Santa to Fly.

* Why NORAD tracks Santa.

The Work of Christmas in the Age of TBS’ “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

* Christmas and the socialist objective.

* Was Scrooge a neoliberal?

The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda.

* That Christmas Spirit: US emergency food providers brace as $5bn food stamp cuts set in.

A Map That Reveals the Most Popular TV Show Set in Your Home State.

* We are creating Walmarts of higher education—convenient, cheap, and second-rate.

We’re Constantly in Fear: The life of a part-time professor.

* Bullying in Academia More Prevalent Than Thought.

* College watchdog groups sharpening their teeth.

* Adjunct Nate Silver has been studying the academic job market in German since 2007: who posts jobs, and who gets jobs. Part 1.

* The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives.

* Why we’re doomed: what Obama reads.

Obama does reserve a certain respect for opinion writers such as Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times, Jerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal, E. J. Dionne of The Washington Post, and Joe Klein of Time. “My impression is that he reads a lot of columnists,” says Brooks, “and therefore he sort of cares about what they say.”

* And then Amazon ate everything, Someday it might even make a profit!

* The Tumblr of forever: sffworthy.tumblr.com.

* Gasp! Judge: Detroit’s Debt Deal Too Generous To Wall Street.

North Carolina’s bad plan to take lawyers away from poor people.

* Trying to learn Arabic is now officially probable cause.

* …even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

“Choice” is the illusion of power.  Vouchers were not dreamed up to provide choice, but to deny it. We need to avoid confusing a justification with an explanation.

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k.

Book bannings on the rise in US schools, says anti-censorship group.

More proof that America’s prison epidemic is a complete disaster.

* Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch and the Science of Reaction Time.

* Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average. Inevitable Milwaukee-based “wait, maybe this isn’t so bad” joke.

* Inevitable “well, there’s always Mars” joke.

The selective disappearance of large animals marks this period out from other extinction episodes, and was the start of what Estes and his fellow authors suggested “is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world”. For Estes, it was the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable. The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel. Why I changed my mind about the ASA boycott.

Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions.

* Nightmare watch: Teen Girl Shot, Killed by Stepdad While Trying to Sneak Back Into House. Texas School Retaliated Against Student For ‘Public Lewdness’ After She Reported Rape.

* An Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video.

* Merry Paul F. Tompkins.

* Democrats are over (if you want it): Democrats desperately want war with Iran.

* And the BBC has a Sherlock season three minisode. God bless us, every one!

Thanksgiving!

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Neoliberalism Triumphant

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A new generation of parents is taking solutions from the workplace and transferring them to the home. From accountability checklists to branding sessions, the result is a bold new blueprint for happy families.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Actually Existing Communism

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We already know that nations aren’t anything like families, because nations are immortal, can set their own wages by fiat, and have access to an effectively infinite line of credit at near-zero interest rates—but Steamboats Are Ruining Everything has yet another reason that this metaphor should be permanently retired.

Most people make a natural comparison between a nation’s budget and a family’s. If a family is sliding into debt, the only remedies are to earn more and spend less. But a nation’s economy is not at all like a family’s. For one thing, within most families, communism prevails: the rule governing money is, From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. For better or worse, this doesn’t happen to be the rule governing money in America at large. Also, within most families, money is not exchanged for labor. In a pedagogical, largely symbolic way, Jimmy may be given $2 a week in exchange for taking out the garbage. But the person who cooks and cleans does not clock his hours; the children do not buy their dinners. The exchange of labor and goods within a family is for the most part unmeasured and invisible, and it makes more sense to understand a family as a group of people functioning a single economic agent. If the sort of thing that brings a family from debt to prosperity also helps a nation, it’s logical coincidence. Family and nation are so unlike each other that there’s no reason to expect it to.

And another great observation from this excellent post:

The robots are here. By now they automate even much of our social lives. You might compare the political challenge they represent to what’s known as the “resource curse”—the infamous difficulty that oil-rich nations have in preserving democracy while sharing the oil’s proceeds. Do we want to be Norway or Saudi Arabia? The choice seems to be between democratic socialism and tyranny. I know my understanding will strike many as implausible, if not unspeakable: I’m saying that the country is suffering economically because it doesn’t know what to do with all its surplus wealth.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

This Was Monday

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* Judy Clarke, lawyer.

* All these worlds are yours, except Kepler 10-b. Attempt no landings there.

* Autonomous organization: In urban N.J. areas, few residents disrespect unwritten rule of reserving snow-cleared parking spots.

* Matt Taibbi gets introspective.

For my part, as a member of the political media, and a vitriol-spewing one at that, the Tucson shooting immediately made me ask myself the question: do I personally do anything to add to this obvious problem of a hypercharged, rhetorically overheated political atmosphere? And the unfortunate answer I came up with was, maybe. I’ve always told myself that what I do is different from what someone like Rush does, because I don’t target classes of people and try not to exempt anyone (even myself) from criticism, or favor either party. 

I’ve also counted on the belief that anyone who’s willing to devote the mental energy to even follow whatever wild rhetoric I’m using is probably also smart enough to tell the difference between reality and hyperbole. I also hope that anyone reading my articles will get the underlying message that I’m pretty sure — I hope I’m sure, anyway — I’m conveying at all times, i.e. that violence is irresponsible, that we should use our brains instead of baseball bats to solve problems, etc.

But while I tell myself all these things, I also know that I would never talk to my wife or my mother the way I talk to Lloyd Blankfein. Is it ever right to just wind up and let someone have it with all you’ve got? That’s a question that I think has to be asked. It’s certainly possible that we’ve all become too used to unrestrained rhetoric as a form of entertainment, and people like me live right in the middle of the guilt parabola there. Most all of us are grownups and can handle extreme argument, but clearly some people are not, and obviously I’m not just talking about Jared Loughner.

To see that, all you have to do is attend almost any family gathering, where once-loving relationships have been completely lost because of the overheated right-left culture war. If real family relationships are being lost to this kind of political debate, if someone on TV can reach into your living room and break up your family without knowing anything about you or even knowing that you exist, that tells us that this mechanized mass-media rhetoric has been almost unimaginably successful at dehumanizing whole classes of people.

Twitter beta-tests a spine.

* The University of California Student Association responds to news of an additional half-billion dollars in cuts to education in California.

* Short film of the night: “Three Minutes.”

* Infographic of the night: Dexter’s victims.

A Climate Change Confession

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Despite Bill’s timely warning I confess I was completely unprepared for the ferocity with which my climate-change-denying family members would clamp down on the CRU hack and refuse to let go. I am, perhaps, naive, but I had thought the simple distinction between scientific claims and moral evaluations would be enough to return the discussion to rational, fact-based grounds.

I was, alas, deeply mistaken.

Read Bill’s site for an effective debunking tutorial, and then turn to some more recent posts: the RealClimate follow-up and the Daily Kos interview with Michael Mann. The Daily Kos interview is particularly instructive as it walks through the five or so emails (out of the thousand stolen dating back to 1996) that are being selectively quoted (and, I can now confirm, significantly misquoted)—and explains the situational context in which each was written. (The Nate Silver post linked by Bill does a particularly good job with the favored “hide the decline” email.)

Devote yourself to these refutations. The paranoid mindset that fuels climate change denialism guarantees that the CRU hack will be with us at family gatherings for a long, long time; while your Occam’s Razor may suggest we reject any hypothesis that requires a secret world-spanning conspiracy of climate scientists, politicians, and journalists, for their Crabtree’s Bludgeon such a conspiracy is the only possible explanation.

Nostalgia (By Veidt)

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When I was younger I would sometimes be seized, usually at night, by sudden intense depressions I usually thought of as “darkness.” I haven’t felt that way in a long time, not since before I was married, and I’m certain a lot of that has to do both with Jaimee and with the way my life has generally improved in all categories since I was younger. But tonight I feel something like that feeling, except totally benign, a kind of overpowering sense of nostalgia that has been caused in varying degrees by:

* my high school reunion, in process tonight a mere 600 miles from my current location;
* the fifth anniversary of my cousin Andrew’s death, which puts his phantom self as old this year as I was when he died;
* a new diet that seems to be having immediate and positive effects on my energy and concentration;
* yesterday’s rereading of Jimmy Corrigan;
* some eerily on-the-nose “nostalgia rock” recommended by Jacob B;
* my obsessive attention to the youth rebellion in Iran and hope at least for one night that the arc of history bends towards Utopia.

I feel nostalgic and hypercontemplative, but not sad, except insofar as we all only live life once, and the portions are too small.

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Compare and contrast:

On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain.
The Communist Manifesto

vs.

Hey Folks, You’re Spending My Inheritance.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 31, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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